International travel is both fun and exciting but it can easily become stressful if you forget or lose important documents. This checklist will help ensure that you have everything you need for a smooth journey.
1. At least $100 worth of local currency – calculate the cab fare from the airport to your destination and carry more than that amount with you. Some change is nice to have in the airport for luggage carts and tipping. Remember to bring some home country money as well, just in case you need it on the trip home.
2. Passports. Be sure to check expiration dates well in advance. It pays to check the destination country regulations as some countries require the passport to be valid for one month or more after the trip dates. Check and double check that you include all necessary visas with your passport information.
3. At least one copy of every passport packed separately from other travel documents. Consider including copies in a checked bag and then storing them in the hotel safe at your destination.
4. Health insurance cards. Verify that your health insurance is valid in your destination country and be sure to carry the cards – just in case.
5. Hard copy of important phone numbers (doctors, relatives, US Consulate, etc). Everyone has this information in cell phones these days but what if you lose your phone, forget the charger or it stops working?
6. Shot records (required for some countries)/birth certificates. Some countries require proof of immunization and/or proof of parentage before entering the country.
7. Notarized health authorization (if traveling with grandchildren). This doesn’t need to be complex – just a statement naming the adults traveling with your children and giving them authorization to approve health care in an emergency (just like most schools require).
8. Notarized travel permission or custody papers if both parents are not traveling. It is common for passport control to request this information if a parent is traveling alone with a child. A copy of the child’s birth certificate should also be carried if both parents are not traveling.
9. Hard copy of itinerary and lodging phone numbers. Better to be safe than sorry!
10. Leave behind – copy of itinerary, passport copy and contact numbers with neighbor or relative.
Complete this checklist and you should have everything you need for a fun and exciting international adventure.